Gibson aims to step up 40 time for NFL scouts

RECORD-SETTING WSU receiver Brandon Gibson and former WSU walk on Mike Reilly, a standout quarterback the last two seasons at Central Washington, are in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Combine. They're among more than 300 college players who will be tested, drilled, poked and prodded incessantly by pro scouts in the hopes of hearing their name called -- preferably high -- in April's draft.

Gibson, generally thought to be among the top 15 wideouts in the draft, was the only Cougar invited to the Combine. Reilly is one of two CWU Wildcats there, joining tight end Jared Bronson.

Gibson hopes to start up where he left off with NFL scouts last month at the Senior Bowl. He was having a solid week of practice in the run-up to the all-star game – which is staffed by NFL coaches -- before tweaking a hamstring and sitting out the game itself. He ran crisp routes and showed good extension on deep balls.

"I showed that I can play with anybody and play at a high level," he recently told about his Senior Bowl workouts. " … The first day, I had to adjust to the speed of the game at practice. Everything was so fast. Hopefully, I was able to prove that I am a pretty good all-around receiver and one of the top guys in the draft.

Between the Combine this week and then Pro Day in Pullman – likely to be sometime in early March – Gibson will be out to prove he's better than the fourth-round pick he was projected to be a year ago when he considered leaving school early. currently rates Gibson the No. 98 overall player in the draft, which would place him at the top of the fourth round. The site likes Gibson's size (6-2, 205), speed (4.6 range), hands (182 career catches at WSU). Moreover, "his experience as a feature receiver in multiple offenses makes him one of the more NFL-ready senior receivers. He also boasts NFL bloodlines, as his uncle, Vaughn Williams, was a defensive back for the 49ers and Colts."

Gibson has been prepping for the Combine at a facility in California and said he's especially focused on improving his time in the 40. He views 40 times as overrated, but concedes that they are critical.


In his interview, Gibson was asked to name one up-and-coming Cougar to keep an eye on. "RB James Montgomery. He definitely has a future at the next level," he responded.

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